Governor’s office warns of dangerous heat levels

Governor’s office warns of dangerous heat levels
GOHSEP (Source: GOHSEP)

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) is urging Louisiana residents to use caution if they are taking part in any outdoor activities due to dangerous heat indices of 110 or higher in some places.

The National Weather Services offices covering Louisiana have issued heat advisories due to these conditions. In Southwest Louisiana heat indices will likely reach the 105 - 110 range.

“Heat related health issues can develop quickly when heat indices get this high,” said GOHSEP Director Jim Waskom. “We urge everyone to use caution and watch out for each other as these conditions continue. Some groups are more susceptible to heat problems. They include children, those 65 or older, people with existing health conditions and people who are overweight. Anyone who exercises or overexerts during work could be vulnerable. Remember to take frequent breaks, stay hydrated and look out for others if they show signs of heat-related problems.”

When your body loses excessive water and salt from sweating Heat Exhaustion can occur with the following signs and symptoms:

  • Excessive sweating.
  • Pale, ashen, or moist skin.
  • Muscle cramps.
  • Fatigue, weakness, or exhaustion.
  • Headache, dizziness, or fainting.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Rapid heart rate.

Move anyone suffering from heat exhaustion to a shaded or air-conditioned area, give them water or other cool non-alcoholic beverages, and apply wet towels or have them take a cool shower. Uncontrolled heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke if not treated quickly.

Signs of Heat Stroke include:

  • A body temperature above 103 degrees.
  • Flushed skin that is dry and hot to the touch after sweating stops.
  • Rapid breathing.
  • Headache, dizziness, confusion, or other signs of altered mental status.
  • Irrational or belligerent behavior.
  • Convulsions or unresponsiveness.

If you see someone suffering from heat stroke call 911 and move them to a cool place. You may also need to remove unnecessary clothing and immediately cool the victim. If possible you should immerse the victim up to the neck in cold water with the help of a second person as the victim may not be able to assist you.

If you can not immerse the person in cold water then the victim should be placed in a cold shower or moved to a cool area where as much of their body as possible can be covered with a cold wet towels.

You should keep cooling them until their body temperature drops to 101 degrees.

Monitor the victim’s breathing during this process and be prepared to give CPR if needed.

If someone is suffering from heat stroke DO NOT:

  • Force them to drink any liquids as they may choke on them.
  • Apply rubbing alcohol to their skin.
  • Allow them to take any pain relievers or salt tablets.

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